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Author Topic: Advice for a mill  (Read 1417 times)

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Offline Merlin

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Advice for a mill
« on: April 10, 2018, 07:29:32 PM »
Good evening everyone. Itís been a while since I posted last but I read the forum everyday. Well the time has finally come to get a mill. The two main ones Iím looking at are the LT 15 wide and the EZ 40. Both of these will mill just about any tree we have here. 
I need some advice as I have only seen these two run in videos, but I have about 200-300 hours running a SMG champion mill. What I like about the LT is obviously the name and support, build quality and ability to cut a 35.5Ē cant and a dealer about 80 km away. What Iím hesitant about is always being on the back side of the cut and having to walk around each time to roll and clamp down. 
On the EZ, I like just about everything, but it cuts a bit shorter and itís in the US and shipping over the border or picking it up will be pricy and the support is quite a distance away.
The budget is $15k cdn and both are right around the same price. 
As for support equipment, I have 2 tractors with loaders, an 85 hp Kubota and a 50 hp International. I already have a building with a 20í opening with a roof and the other sides also open, which is where I store some farm equipment. Lastly I have a 20í flatdeck trailer. I have very little interest in being mobile, but it would be a quick fix to make both of these mill with a trailer.
Any advice for or against would be very helpful. And send any other ideas as well. I have been keeping my eyes open for used and the price is almost new for the few that even pop up for sale.

Thanks again.
2018 LT15 Wide, 2012 Kubota M8540 w FEL, Norse 390 logging winch. IH 484 w FEL.  Stihl MS361, MS311, MS192. 40 acre family farm with NFLD ponies, a few beef cows, 2 Border Collies and a very understanding wife and 2 great kids.

"Imagination is more important than knowledge" - Albert Einstein

Offline dgdrls

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Re: Advice for a mill
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2018, 07:56:25 PM »
Hi Merlin,

what about the SMG mills?  

D

Offline SawyerTed

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Re: Advice for a mill
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2018, 07:57:04 PM »
Close access to dealer support is important to me.  Both mills are manufactured by good companies with good support.  If I were picking, I would choose the LT15 Wide given all the other things being equal.  The extra few steps would not be a game changer IMO.  Ready access to parts and support out weighs the few extra steps per log.  
Woodmizer LT35HD25, Kubota MX5100, IH McCormick Farmall 140, Granberg Alaskan Chainsaw Mill, Husqvarna 372XP, Husqvarna 455 Rancher

Offline Merlin

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Re: Advice for a mill
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2018, 08:02:30 PM »
Hi Merlin,

what about the SMG mills?  

D
The SMG mill I use is a friends brothers mill. I figure if Iím getting a mill, I might as well get one that can cut a bit wider. My wife enjoys building live edge slab rustic stuff, so the SMG just doesnít cut wide enough.
2018 LT15 Wide, 2012 Kubota M8540 w FEL, Norse 390 logging winch. IH 484 w FEL.  Stihl MS361, MS311, MS192. 40 acre family farm with NFLD ponies, a few beef cows, 2 Border Collies and a very understanding wife and 2 great kids.

"Imagination is more important than knowledge" - Albert Einstein

Offline WDH

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Re: Advice for a mill
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2018, 08:23:45 PM »
The power feed on the LT15 is better than sliced bread. 
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5640SU, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Advice for a mill
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2018, 08:29:27 PM »
I have an all manual mill,a Thomas. I might of called him twice in the 10 years I've owned the mill.Once to have blades sharpen and once to get a blade guide bearing. The bearing could of been shipped to me. Not much to wrong on a manual mill. Or not much that went bad on my mill. ;D
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline Darrel

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Re: Advice for a mill
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2018, 10:27:52 PM »
They are both great mills but there is something to be said about local support!
1992 LT40HD

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Offline Tin Horse

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Re: Advice for a mill
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2018, 10:58:20 PM »
I recently noticed a mill built in Quebec. Several models. Pascal Metal Bandsaw mill. They look well built and price seems good. With our dollar so weak right now it might be an option. Not sure if anyone else owns one or has seen them? As mentioned support is important.
Bell 1000 Wood Processor. Enercraft 30HTL, Case 580SL. Kioti 7320.

Offline Skipper11A

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Re: Advice for a mill
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2018, 11:12:43 PM »
Hi Merlin,  You've got some good support equipment and trailer, so you're ahead of the game here.  What you might not know is that you can't turn 36" logs with a cant hook, and although you can turn them with a tractor, it's pretty uncontrolled and gets exciting real fast.  I turn all of the big ones with a manual log turner winch,  it's controlled and safe.
In the picture the winch with the J hook is the log turner and it turns the big ones better than your tractor ever will.  I wouldn't buy a big mill without a winch to turn the logs.  I don't know if the LT 15 wide has a log turner as an option, if it does not, that would kill the deal for me.  I saw an LT 15 wide at a trade show and I have seen the bigger Woodmizers and let me summarize the EZ 40's strengths without criticizing any of the Woodmizers.  The EZ Boardwalk 40 is big, heavy, wide....it's built like your big tractor.  There are grease zerks everywhere and big pillow block bearings on both of the bandwheels.  The blade roller guides are 4" which is twice the diameter of any other mill I've seen which means they are turning 4x more SLOWLY!  And they are greased everyday I'm sawing.  I'm a farmer, so I love big thick steel and grease zerks, and this thing is made by farmers for farmers.  And you're not going to need support for this thing.  Everything you need can be found locally except for the blade roller guides.  That's the whole point of this mill, it's incredibly robust and if something does break, you get parts locally.

Also, the EZ Boardwalk 40 is a 40" mill.  You can't find that capacity in any mill until you get to the high dollar slabbing mills.  That 40" allows you to straddle a lot more big logs than a 36" mill.  I would also buy a blade sharpener and NOT buy a debarker.  When you can sharpen your own blades, you can  care less about things that dull your blades.

Offline starmac

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Re: Advice for a mill
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2018, 11:15:31 PM »
I too like the idea of the dealer being so close, and it is pretty hard to go wrong with a woodmizer too.

I have never seen the EZ in person, but by all accounts, it is a fine mill also, but I am thinking the woodmizer will have an edge on resale down the road too.
Old LT40HD, old log truck, old MM forklift, and several huskies.

Offline Merlin

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Re: Advice for a mill
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2018, 09:42:54 PM »
Thanks for all the replies. Iím still on the fence about which mill. Tin Horse, thanks for mentioning the Pascal it seems like a decent mill, but I had a hard time finding specs about the width of the cut and such. It is also about the same price as the Lt 15 wide. 
Skipper, that is a great heads up. I already have some ideas of how to build a turner, but the EZ does have that as an option and the LT does not, but again I think I have some ways to alleviate that problem. 

Again thanks for the replies and if their is anything else, please let me know.
2018 LT15 Wide, 2012 Kubota M8540 w FEL, Norse 390 logging winch. IH 484 w FEL.  Stihl MS361, MS311, MS192. 40 acre family farm with NFLD ponies, a few beef cows, 2 Border Collies and a very understanding wife and 2 great kids.

"Imagination is more important than knowledge" - Albert Einstein

Offline JB Griffin

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Re: Advice for a mill
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2018, 10:13:06 PM »
If I were buying a manual mill, EZ Boardwalk would be the first one I called.
2000 LT40hyd remote 33hp Kubota, 160 Prentice, Frick 2 saw gang edger, Wright W-37 ABG, Suffolk dual tooth setter, Cat claw single tooth setter,'96 F-250 7.3 PSD 4x4, CS-590 Echo, MF 20c, M681 Memo.

Over 2.5 million bdft sawn with a Baker Dominator and counting.

Offline justallan1

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Re: Advice for a mill
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2018, 12:42:20 PM »
I have the EZ Boardwalk Jr. and really like it.
Talking with Stanton from EZ Boardwalk, every part on the mill can be had from a local parts house or bought online from places like Grainger, MSC or Surplus Center.
In my opinion when dealing with the manual mills the biggest benefit I see coming from having any particular manufacturer near would be that you can walk in the door and they have the part. The downside of that is you will most likely pay extra for those parts, rather than just looking up the part and ordering it yourself.
These manual mills are pretty darned basic and other than convenience, most anyone that can run one should be able to fix one.
If you're looking at something with a bunch of electronics then I understand wanting to be around a dealer.

Offline Merlin

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Re: Advice for a mill
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2018, 07:32:31 PM »
Again, thanks for all the input. The more I think about it the more Iím leaning towards the lt15 wide simply due to the ease of purchase. I fear I may get stuck at the border or hit with large duty charges, then the ez becomes really expensive. I realize the that these manual mills are quite simple, but supporting local I believe is in the best interest.

2018 LT15 Wide, 2012 Kubota M8540 w FEL, Norse 390 logging winch. IH 484 w FEL.  Stihl MS361, MS311, MS192. 40 acre family farm with NFLD ponies, a few beef cows, 2 Border Collies and a very understanding wife and 2 great kids.

"Imagination is more important than knowledge" - Albert Einstein

Offline firefighter

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Re: Advice for a mill
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2018, 10:15:53 PM »
The exchange rate makes getting any think from the US so expensive in Canada

Offline Tin Horse

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Re: Advice for a mill
« Reply #15 on: April 16, 2018, 10:16:48 AM »
I'm fortunate to be about 15 minutes and I'm over the border for items I buy in the US. at a pick up point. I love shopping on US websites for a lot of things we can't find here. I find the websites much better and better support in many cases. Even with the exchange and duty ( not if it's US made) prices still are close or even less than in Canada. I'm trying Cooks blades right now. Just over $28.00 each all in.(Cdn). Yes it hurt paying the exchange and taxes on my cat claw sharpener and setter but I believe the quality and value over time are worth it. 
Sorry to go a bit off topic but I'd still search US if looking for a mill.
Bell 1000 Wood Processor. Enercraft 30HTL, Case 580SL. Kioti 7320.


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